This action-packed itinerary dives into New Zealand's South and North Islands for a wide variety of landscapes and attractions. Kicking off in the adrenaline capital of the world, you'll kayak through the Milford Sound, explore the scenic capital (Wellington), take part in Rotorua's geothermal treatments, tour Hobbiton, and finish the adventure in the cosmopolitan city of Auckland.
How it works
Tell us what kind of trip you want
Chat with a local travel specialist
Securely book your trip
Travelers love kimkim
Few destinations ignite the imagination the way New Zealand does. The diminutive two-island nation is filled with scenery best described as epic (think craggy peaks, vast beaches, dense forest, and crystalline fjords). And with the diversity of landscape come plentiful ways to take advantage of the great outdoors—hiking and biking are just the tip of the iceberg here. In one trip, you can immerse yourself in Māori culture in Rotorua, taste wine in the vineyards of Martinborough, and take a whale-watching tour off the coast of Christchurch.
Where should I go in New Zealand?
New Zealand is split between the North Island and the South Island, each offering something different. While the North Island is more densely populated and famed for authentic immersion into Māori culture near Rotorua, it is also known for the bustling city of Auckland, stunning beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula, and famous landmarks from the Lord of the Rings movies such as Hobbiton. In contrast, the South Island is better known for the “adventure capital of the world,” Queenstown, and the surrounding natural beauty found among must-visit sites such as Mount Cook, the Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, and the fjords of Milford Sound.
When is the best time to visit?
New Zealand’s rugged landscapes, natural beauty, and adventure-filled activities make it a spectacular destination to visit year-round. Between the months of December and March, you can expect bright and sunny days with temperatures ranging between 60°F and 75°F—the perfect weather to enjoy beaches, hiking, and other outdoor activities. New Zealand also makes for an exciting getaway between June and September, when snow arrives to beckon skiers and other winter adventurers to the South Island and the mountains of the North Island. Learn more
Things to do in New Zealand
Travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to adventure in New Zealand. Cruise the iconic fjords of Milford Sound, Bungy jump off a bridge in Queenstown, immerse yourself in local Māori culture, or hike the skyscraping peaks of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. Take a guided tour of the Franz Josef glacier, catch a glimpse of seal pups playing in the waters of Abel Tasman National Park, whale-watch in Kaikōura, or see the stars like never before at the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve—the largest gold-standard Dark Sky Reserve in the world.
How many days do I need in New Zealand?
Whether your travels take you to New Zealand for one week, two weeks, a month, or more (and there's plenty to fill that time), you'll have lots of options for getting around. Tackle one of the country's famous "Great Walks," multi-day treks through dramatic landscapes immortalized by Lord of the Rings. Get up close with the Waimakariri River gorge and the snowy Southern Alps on a relaxing South Island train journey. Or rent some wheels and road trip from Auckland to Milford Sound, utilizing an inter-island ferry. The country may be small, but the possibilities are endless. Learn more
Getting around New Zealand
Most international travelers arrive by flying into either Auckland or Christchurch. Domestic flights serve every large and medium-sized city in the country, while self-driving allows access to more remote areas such as national parks and mountainous regions. To travel between the North and South Islands, you'll need to fly or take the car-friendly ferry between Wellington and Picton. Learn more
Ready to start planning your trip to New Zealand?
Get started by telling us a bit about your ideal trip, and we will connect you to a local specialist to work out all the details.
This 10-day road trip in the South Island combines the best New Zealand has to offer. Discover jaw-dropping scenery here, including Lake Tekapo and its turquoise waters, Mt. Cook and the surrounding glaciers, the peaks of Mt. Aspiring National Park and the magnificent fjords. You will also enjoy more intimate and off-the-beaten-path experiences, including the exploration of the Banks Peninsula, with its active wildlife setting, as well as immersing yourself in the historical gold rush of the small town of Clyde.
Traverse New Zealand on this two-week adventure-packed trip, covering the highlights of North and South Island. Discover diverse landscapes, from world-class surfing beaches, volcanic islands, and fern forests to geothermal waters, glacial fiords, and imposing mountains. Along the way, you'll visit historic mining towns, go wine tasting and hike, paddle, and fly your way across the country.
Perfect for first-timers, this 13-day itinerary covers an epic variety of landscapes and activities that only New Zealand could offer. Starting in Auckland, you'll head south passing through glowworm caves, natural mud baths, and famous film sets. Stay a few nights in Wellington before continuing to the South Island for the country's highest peaks, incredible natural wonders (like Milford Sound), and—if you so choose—a range of adrenaline sports to amp up this "Kiwi" adventure.
Travel through New Zealand's beautiful South Island, getting to know its cultural hotspots, famous landscapes and public gardens, and sprawling vineyards along the way. Over 12 days, you'll enjoy the cafes and fine art of Nelson, spend two days sipping wine in Marlborough, hike near beautiful Lake Wanaka and the famous Milford Sound, and more.
This self-drive itinerary hits the highlights of New Zealand's North Island with a wide array of activities and landscapes. Along the way, you'll explore Auckland's best neighborhoods, sip pours from local wineries, go swimming and kayaking, and take part in Rotorua's geothermal treatments and Maori culture—all within the span of a week.
Ten days is a great amount of time for a New Zealand trip: you'll easily be able to experience the top highlights of both islands—North and South—plus outdoor activities and...
In one week, you can discover just the North Island, just the South Island, or cross over into both. By landing and departing in major cities (like Christchurch, Auckland, and...
You can comfortably explore four to five different destinations with ten days in New Zealand. Spend up to two days in each city, including the "Big Little City" of Auckland,...
With two weeks, you can get to know both of New Zealand's islands or enjoy an in-depth exploration of either one. Take a North Island road trip from Auckland to Wellington, or...
January is mid-summer in New Zealand, and peak tourism season. Schools are on holiday until the end of the month, so you'll encounter a lot of domestic tourists throughout the...
February is mid-summer in New Zealand, and also peak tourism season. But, schools go back earlier in the month, so international visitors won't be competing with locals for...
March is the first month of autumn in New Zealand, but summery conditions tend to linger, and in many parts of the country March is almost as warm and sunny as February. The...
April is the middle of autumn in New Zealand. In some parts of the country, that means the leaves on the trees turn orange and the air is crisp and cool. In others, especially...
If you're short on time but ready to explore New Zealand, this action-packed itinerary ticks off the best of both the North and South Islands in just six brilliant days. Witness the volcanic wonders of Rotorua, venture to the real Middle-earth, eat around Auckland, cruise the magical fjords of Milford Sound, feast with a local Maori tribe, and get your thrills in Queenstown. In between it all, every turn offers breathtaking landscapes and incredible scenery that leave you wanting more.
For those that like a trip to include thrills, food, and natural wonders, this eight-day itinerary should check off all the boxes. New Zealand is known for its hospitality, and you'll experience the very best of it at a mountaintop farm, a lakeside spa, and a multi-course Maori feast. Along the way, you'll get to see a fjord from a plane, glowworms from a boat, and Wellington's cityscape from a century-old funicular railway.
Wine lovers and adventure-seekers can get all bases covered on New Zealand's South Island with this six-day itinerary. Space out your wine tasting with activities including gondola rides, ziplining, and canyon river rafting. You'll also have time for leisurely walks through Mt. Cook National Park. A scenic road trip portion offers opportunities to get out and see the glaciers and mountain ranges that make this region a must-visit spot for extreme sports enthusiasts.
Why travelers love kimkim
Customize your trip with the help of a local travel specialist
Kimkim has handpicked the world’s top local travel specialists so you will have peace of mind and an unforgettable trip that meets your exact requirements.
Authentic travel experiences
Kimkim’s local specialists ensure that you will have the best experience based on up-to-date local insights. On top of that, the vast majority of your money will go straight to support and grow local economies.
Secure & easy booking
Once you are happy with the trip, you can easily book via kimkim’s secure payment platform.
Local support during your trip
You can always reach your local specialist with a quick message or call in case you hit a snag during your trip, or simply want some great local recommendations.
Kimkim is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.
Seller of Travel Registration number: CST #2136279-40.
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.
Nichole was incredibly informative, gracious,...
Jul 10 - Jul 13, 2022
Nichole was incredibly informative, gracious, and flexible. We had some last minute challenges during our visit (unrelated to the planning) and Nichole had to do some super quick adjustments and really took care of us. We are very appreciative of her and would highly recommend!
Wonderful cycling (South Island of New Zealand)
Mar 1 - Mar 15, 2020
I wrote to Kim Kim re cycling in NZ having some ideas of what we wanted (and what we did not want). Valentin responded immediately and through some correspondence we planned 2 weeks cycling in Sth Island of New Zealand. He understood our needs and catered to our preferences. The choice of trails, accommodation and attention to detail was fantastic (the trip itself was amazing, so varied in scenery and types of trails. We loved the small towns, the unique accommodations and people, having our... read more
Magical New Zealand
Mar 3 - Mar 16, 2020
Thanks to Eloise for planning our wonderful trip thru New Zealand. The highlight of our trip was staying at the Matuka Lodge in Twizel(Mount Cook). The flight over the glaciers were beyond memorable. The whole itinerary was very well planned and everything went smoothly. Thanks for all the recommendations. Till the next time.